Early Lessons from the Pea Trial

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Lessons from the Pea Trial–So Far

Pisello Nano Piccolo Provenzale

Pisello Nano Picolo Provenzale

#1. Early planting does not equal early eating. It’s not just 55-60 days, it’s the *right* 55-60 days. We thought an early start would give us peas sooner, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case. Peas that were supposed to be ready to start picking in 55-60 days are just now 6″ tall a week after the 60 day mark we were hoping for. The peas planted February 18th may or may not be ready for picking by mid-April. We’ll let you know!

#2. Peas planted early seem to get damaged by pests a lot more than peas planted later. Maybe because there’s not much else out there looking green and delicious in January and early February. Or maybe we just got smarter about the covers we used as the trial went on.

#3. Peas appear to sprout and grow better in February than they do in January. Weather will surely influence this. We’ll track it next year and compare. This year January was warm and sunny, if that weather had continued, maybe the peas would have been on the table by now.

Pea Sprouts Protected by Plastic Netting

Pea Sprouts Protected by Plastic Netting

#4. Peas need to be grown under netting or cages in order to foil uninvited dinner guests. Upside down black plastic latticed plant carriers from the garden store worked well for the first few weeks, as did the onion bag netting we recycled. Neither of these methods was deep enough to allow for much growth and I would like to keep the peas protected longer, just in case. We lost a whole planting of snap peas in the back garden because something came along and snipped the tops off each of the vines. (Argh!!) We’ll keep the tall covers on these for the first several inches of growth and you can check out our Pea Trial page if you want know how our test of the burlap covered cages does.

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